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Last weekend Netflix released a new movie from mainland China.

The Wandering Earth is China's first big-budget science fiction blockbuster, according to Forbes. Big budget, indeed. The ChiComs paid for production companies, special effects artists, solid actors, the whole shebang. The movie had a budget of $50 million, a sizable investment.

Have you ever seen a Chinese blockbuster, let alone a Chinese film? We hadn't until last weekend. And the strange thing is, watching the movie (while reading English subtitles) didn't feel any different from watching any recent sci-fi American blockbuster. It probably won't feel much different watching the new Godzilla at the end of the month.

The movie is currently the third highest-grossing film of 2019. People all over the world have been enjoying it, and it's getting good reviews across the board. All rare feats for a movie made in and by companies in Red China.

In this movie, the sun is rapidly expanding and threatens to swallow the Earth. So scientists build thousands of rockets on the planet's surface and fire them off, planning to move the Earth out of our solar system and to a new star over the course of 2,500 years. Mankind moves to underground cities, and things go smoothly until reaching Jupiter, where the massive amount of gravity threatens to swallow the entire planet. In other words, it's about as realistic as anything coming out of Hollywood.

A decent popcorn flick is a decent popcorn flick, even if it comes from the Middle Kingdom. Who knows, maybe these movies will push the Red Chinese government into allowing more freedom of expression through film when they see how much money these things make. The Wandering Earth has made $700 million. Apparently even communists like money.

Editorial on 05/14/2019

Print Headline: Rare kudos to China

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